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Title: Barakamon
Season: 1
Episode: 5 [Un ni Oegii (Going Swimming at the Beach)]
Watched: August 30th, 2014

August 30th, 2014

Greetings and salutations everyone!
How have you all been doing? This week as well, you get an episode review of Barakamon, I’m pretty sure that you must have seen this coming, as it’s the 5th episode already (and sort of replaces the review time slot for Legend of Korra, which, as the rumors go right now, would apparently air in January 2015? I’m so glad!!).

Before, Handa-sensei was super stressed about the Naruka Institute Calligraphy Exhibition, but seeing as he gained plenty of new experience thanks to writing calligraphy on a boat’s hull, with different tools, and with the help of Naru, he’s significantly relaxed in the beginning of this episode [of course, then comes the fact that he began to eat (and be addicted to) Konomon]. That Konomon scene was incredibly funny! I wonder if I can get the chance to eat Konomon one of these days!! His obsession with Konomon is so cute and intriguing. I love discovering these aspects of the Japanese life… (and cuisine?) through anime.

Speaking of ‘learning the culture‘ through the episode, learning about certain basics about CALLIGRAPHY was pretty awesome as well! I didn’t think that calligraphy would be more difficult for left handed people, but reading his arguments, I actually understood pretty well why (although, couldn’t you just move the inkstone to the other side in order to make it work? I’m… not sure… how it works peeps, give me a break!)!

It was short, but the small part about Handa only teaching Miwa the beautiful calligraphy writing he was still perfecting for the Naruka Institute Calligraphy Exhibition could be analyzed here [and you can skip this part]; he still needs to feel like he’s acknowledged as a calligraphist in order to teach someone else his skills, and to this, Miwa simply says something along the lines of: “Even if it doesn’t win a prize, it looks plenty good to me,” thus arguing that if she thinks it looks good and wants to learn it, he should teach it to her. It’s like saying that the institute‘s perception doesn’t matter, as long as for her, it’s good, it’s worth acknowledgement [plus, I wonder if the writers made her hint that she’d rather have fun writing in order for him to start wondering if he’s having fun while writing? It’s true that sometimes he does go crazy and laugh maniacally while he writes, but… can that be considered fun?]! But I guess it’s true too that he’d want recognition from people who are experts at calligraphy, not from a middle school wannabe.

I was not surprised to see Handa’s almost military way to being a calligraphy teacher for the girls. I found it funny that he wanted his students (Miwa and Tama) to win prizes thanks to him, hahaha.
His constant obsession with winning (first place, at that), has got to be explored in later episodes, yes? Or… well I really should start reading the manga, I think. I wouldn’t mind if the anime kept its easy going pace and focuses on light-hearted things that Handa learns during his time there, but I also wouldn’t mind him exploring the roots of his issues with calligraphy (in order to progress as a professional of course). [although his simple and very poetic PASSION for his art explains it well enough]

However, I was surprised at Tama’s non-discretion (maybe when she’s with Miwa, she’s like this?). I guess young girls are indeed interested in these kinds of things, so both of their reactions to ‘wondering whether or not Handa has a fiance or a wife or a girlfriend’ should be considered normal (I just don’t condone acting upon such curiosity instead of asking him directly). Tama was incredibly clear-headed for someone who doesn’t want to be seen or considered as a fujoshi. Her explanations were pretty sound, I wonder if Handa will be revealing that he has a fiancee somewhere but doesn’t keep a picture of her just because it’s actually an arranged thing and another reason why he doesn’t want to go back to society is so that he doesn’t have to marry her [where does my imagination go? I think I’ve watched too many dramas, people].
…they were so disappointed in the end, though, it made everything even better [is this what they call KARMA?]!! Oh and them bursting at Handa was also very funny to see!

[and can we just talk about how adorable Naru is, running around like she’s panicking about an ADULT being married to another adult? I wonder if they’ll discuss this extreme reaction of hers later on… does she have a bad memory or a trauma about it, or is she just acting out because she realizes that Handa might be taken? *shot* Hey, I know from Tumblr that some people actually SHIP Naru and Handa, I’m not making it up, I promise! [and Miwa also sort of ships them]]

It was interesting to see the difference between the kids’ reactions to Hiroshi’s orders and Handa’s orders. With the former, they would listen to him very well (perhaps because he knows them since they were born and plays with them when he’s bored and doesn’t want to study?), while with the latter, they completely disobey… (and yet… they still show him that they care about him later on, it’s adorable and very realistic to children’s way of expressing their affection, I think!).

I certainly enjoyed watching Hiroshi interact with the children in this episode, especially just throwing them into the water like it wasn’t extremely dangerous due to the depth of the water level and the reefs and the potential rocks. I mean he’s probably considered it and they’re pretty much used to it, but look at his smile. If you decide that he hasn’t taken those things into consideration, that smile could totally be interpreted as that of a murderer (LOL, but he’s having so much fun, so it’s all good (even if he should be studying, thus proving that he’s half-assing his work, as usual…)).

It was also pretty funny that Handa was out of it for most of this part of the episode; due to his bad footing. I look forward to seeing him have more facility with things in the village as time goes on.

I may mention this often during the course of these episodic reviews, but… I really enjoyed the graphics and illustrations in this episode [not that every other episode was bad, I just really liked this one]. The water looked tasty [not that I would drink sea/ocean/beach water… I mean do you stop to think about all the bacterias?!] and the sky was beautiful!!

I also particularly liked the clouds’ textures. Kudos to the artists and animators responsible for making these beautiful aspects for our eyes to feast upon!

[The highlights of this part of the episode are (in no particular order):
1) the interactions between Hina and Naru, because we don’t often hear/see Hina speak as much (if it’s not to imitate someone’s speech), but she’s still an adorable child whom I just want to hug;
2) Hiroshi Critical (’nuff said);
3) Tama and Handa’s qui pro quo moment about his thoughts on Hiroshi (Handa thinking that she has her eyes on Hiroshi, and Tama thinking that Handa has his eyes on Hiroshi, furthering her thoughts on how God is testing her (this is just pure gold));
4) Handa-sensei blushing [’nuff said];
5) The next scene I’m about to point out].

I loved that Naru and the others constantly show Handa how much they care about him (Hiroshi brings him food every day, the girls bother him but know to leave him alone when he needs his Me-time (although they don’t have the same sense of boundaries they should (but it’s ’cause of their environment, not a lot of people have that boundary that Handa has)), Hina cries less often (sort of) and Naru… is Naru). But throughout the show, and I found it specific of this episode, Handa showed how much he cared for them – especially for Naru, since she squats at his house the most? But yeah, doesn’t that basically show you the character development that Handa was capable of making in such a short amount of time? I wonder if this will stay the same if/when he goes back to the city world. Will he show better understanding and better civilized (?) towards elderly and younger people? Will he continue to stay on the island even if he wins a prize?

…so many questions…
…which I cannot find an answer to…

[September 2nd edit] I wonder who this Kyousuke is and what he’s going to do once he meets Handa… GAH I can’t wait for the next episode!


I’ll start to get going now so I can go to sleep or something, for tomorrow.
See you all next week for another episode of Barakamon, or later this week for another review of… well whatever it is I review after… XD

Ponyta‘s out